Accounting and Finance Insights Series – Moving to the UK

Hunter Campbell are invested in the future of the Accounting and Finance profession. Using our technical understanding and specialist expertise we bring you the Hunter Campbell Accounting and Finance Salary and Forecast Series. Profiling roles within the Accounting and Finance sector, including jobs in demand, wages and employment prospects with a feature on how this has been impacted by Covid.

Kiwi’s have a fantastic reputation in the UK market and in our third article, we spotlight the common decision to move to the UK after qualifying.

Lee shares valuable insight below on what to expect as a contractor in the UK, including the introduction of IR35 in 2021 and outlines rates for a variety of roles.

Contracting in London

Up until recently, contracting in the UK was commonly done by setting up a limited company and charging a business a day rate for services. This was more lucrative than working directly for a business / end client on their payroll.

The 2021 IR35 tax legislation changes had a significant impact on contracting in the private sector. In essence, contractors who provide the same services as employees in similar / permanent roles can no longer contract through a limited company. This was done to ensure that contractors and permanent employees who were doing the same job were paying the same amount of tax. For the vast majority of Kiwi’s contracting in London, this will now mean working through either an umbrella company or directly on a company’s payroll for a fixed term.

When searching for contracting roles in the UK, you will come across the terms ‘within IR35’ and ‘outside IR35’ listed as part of the job description. Within IR35 means you will be on the company’s payroll or will need to go through an umbrella company if the former is not offered. Outside IR35 means you are able to contract through your own limited company, often resulting in a higher day rate.

If you contract through an umbrella company, they are your employer, and will manage your insurance, taxes and pay. Umbrella companies charge a small fee for their services, but this does mean less admin than setting up a limited company and the freedom to apply for roles within IR35.

Fortunately, the financial impact of IR35 changes has been mitigated by a shortage of immediately available candidates in the UK, especially London. It is a candidate driven market and businesses are paying a premium to secure good talent. Now, candidates have 4-5 companies vying to bring them on board and bidding wars are ensuing.

What to expect when I touch down?
The nature of the fast-moving contract market means that businesses work closely with external recruitment consultancies to help them fill their vacancies. London has a very saturated recruitment industry. The sheer number of recruiters out there can make finding a suitable consultant who understands what you are looking for, overwhelming.

As a starting point, specialist finance and accounting recruitment firms I recommend are:

Roles and rates

Roles and rates can vary greatly depending on the size of a business and the industry it operates in. Equally, different roles can command different rates. Generally speaking, for accountants with 1-5 years PQE, there is a premium paid for financial reporting as opposed to commercial FP&A/Business Partnering.

Most roles paying a daily rate are 3-6 months in duration. Fixed term contracts are typically 6-12 months long.

As a rough guide:

Newly qualified/first move from practice:

  • Financial Accountant – £300 – £350 per day / £55 – £62k FTC (£65k for someone stand out!)
  • Management Accountant – £300 – £350 per day / £55 – £60k FTC
  • Finance Analyst – £275 – £325 per day / £50 – 55k FTC

2nd role / 6-12 months experience:

  • Financial Accountant – £350 – £375 per day / £62 – £65k FTC
  • Management Accountant – £325 – £350 per day / £52 – £55k FTC
  • Senior Analyst – £300 – £325 per day / £52 – £55k FTC

1-2 years’ experience:

  • Senior Financial Accountant – £350 – £400 / £62 – £70K FTC
  • Finance Analyst / FP&A – £350 – £400 per day / £65 – £70k FTC
  • Business Partner – £350 – £400 per day / £60 – £65 FTC

3-5 years’ experience:

  • Senior Financial Accountant / Manager – £400 – £550 per day / £70 – £100k FTC
  • Senior Analyst / FP&A Manager – £400 – £500 per day / £70 – £90k FTC
  • Business Partner – £400 – £500 per day / £70 – £90k FTC
  • Financial Controller – £400 – £600 per day / £70 – £100k FTC

If you would like to find out more about moving to the UK, please contact Lee Marshall.  For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.


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